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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

December 04, 2017


Steve Kielar, 3rd Assistant Scientist

The Global Ocean

Scientists Rudy and Caleb at 2:34am (local time)

Ship's Log

Current Position
37° 00.1’S x 178° 55.7’W

Course & Speed
Steering 135 degrees, Full and By the Wind.

Sail Plan
Sailing under the 4 lowers. and the 99% full moon

Partly Cloudy and Warm

Souls on Board

When was the last time you were awake from 1am to 7am? What were you doing for those hours? Maybe you were on an all-night road trip or cramming for the next midterm. As I write this, C-watch is in the midst of Dawn Watch, which runs from 1am-7am.

Dawn watch begins with a wake-up from a member of the previous watch. Next, most of us fumble around in the red light for our clothes, knife and headlamp as we make our way to the coffee/tea maker. We: Caleb, Rudy, Hannah-Marie, Kim, Kaylee, Ruth and Corinna along with our Chief Mate: Kirsten and Yours truly (Steve) exchange glances and mumble good mornings as we fill our mugs and read over the night orders put together by Captain Bill.

Besides watching closely for the sun to rise out of the Pacific, many tasks are taken on while most of the South Pacific sleeps. Caleb and Rudy have been assigned to lab and jump into action processing water. First they run Alkalinity, a titration of the buffering capacity of the ocean in regards to pH. Next, they use the spectrophotometer and found the pH of the local seawater to be 8.052. After that, they filter for Chlorophyll-a (a proxy for photosynthetic plankton) and microplasics.

At around 4:00am local time, we gather on the quarter deck with tea/coffee and homemade peanut butter cookies. Ruth is at the helm and Corinna is plotting our course in the Doghouse. Kirsten is showing us the names of stars and constellations. We take turns looking at the 99% full moon with the binoculars. The Southern Cross is high in the sky. As we head back to the lab we pass Kim, who was on lookout and is now on a boat check. Next, we pass by Kaylee who reports 7 shooting stars while singing "Cowboy take me away" by the Dixie Chicks.

Back in the lab Caleb, Rudy and I were only interrupted twice, once for bow riding dolphins and once for the pinkish orange sunrise. By the end of our watch they have identified over 11 different kinds of zooplankton along with 7 myctophids (fish), 2 portugese man-o-war (Jellyfish) and 2 large salps (Clear-Jello-like animals).

It's almost time to wake Hannah-Marie. The rumor is that she will be baking cranberry-orange scones with Jen (our fantastic steward) for breakfast. As the sun gets brighter in the East, C-watch will soon be in our racks, digesting not only the scones, but all that Dawn Watch has to offer.

- Steve

Hello to Amy and "The Birdman" of Headlandia! Love to my parents: Ron and Sue and my brothers: David and Paul.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s276  sailing  science  study abroad • (2) Comments
Previous entry: A Zoo of Zooplanktons    Next entry: IT’S PARTEE TIME!!!!


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Susan Hormuth on December 04, 2017

Steve, thanks for taking us through Dawn Watch.  Hope you enjoyed the scones.  Rudy, did you know we called you Bat-Boy as a baby?

#2. Posted by Caleb's mom, Carol Stoudt on December 06, 2017

Wow, Caleb!  Looks like you all are having an incredible adventure - can’t wait to hear about it.

Samuel is growing like a weed - and RaeRae asks about the ship you are on (remember you telling her about it at your birthday party?) She says she ‘memembers you told her that you were on a star ship smile

Love you much son, and we are all looking forward to seeing you in about 3 weeks!  Best wishes for smooth sailing!



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